Subject: Re: pkg_alternatives as a dependency, again
To: NetBSD Packages Technical Discussion List <tech-pkg@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Todd Vierling <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 02/14/2005 15:41:33
On Mon, 14 Feb 2005, Greg A. Woods wrote:

> > If someone wants to have a system-wide 'java' command that just works,
> > even when there is a single vm available, what?
> A one-line wrapper script will suffice.

For you.

> Generically speaking about a java VM though is probably a very bad
> example.  It would be like wishing to have a generic "perl" that spanned
> versions 1.x-5.x.

No, it's not like that at all; versions aren't the key here.  Java VMs are
divergent, different beasts that have platform dependency issues.

Think instead if four vendors all had their own implementations of [the same
basic syntax version of] Perl that only covered a subset of Perl module
libraries each, and for which .so-linked Perl modules only work between
subsets of those implementations.  *Then* you'll get a picture that more
closely resembles the Java situation.

> What I really detest is the idea that these things should be runtime
> configurable, and even worse be user-specific.  That is insanity of the
> worst kind

For you.  In the case of Java VMs in particular, user preferences are a very
useful tool.  And if people want user preferences for those or other tools
in a manageable manner, then certainly they don't find these to be

You need to learn a sense of compromise, of how to work to accommodate
others' needs or desires.  I once had to learn the same hard lesson myself:
"Your" environment is not everyone's environment, and "your" needs are not
everyone's needs.

(I have a distinct feeling of deja vu.  Haven't we been through this

-- Todd Vierling <> <>